Panino Caprese: Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Sandwich

One of our summer staples around here is the Caprese Salad, but sometimes you just want something you can hold in your hand . . . enter the panino caprese.

As with many Italian dishes, the quality of ingredients in this week’s What’s Cooking Wednesday is extremely important, so you should use the best tomatoes (homegrown off the vine), mozzarella (di bufala) and olive oil (extra virgin) you can find. Basil, oregano, and salt round out the ingredients.

I like to put some olive oil on each inside of the bun to start, but you can assemble this any way you like. I do sliced mozzarella first, then sliced tomatoes, then basil, oregano, and salt — with another drizzle of olive oil over the tomatoes to finish it off.

Remember, “panino” in Italy just means a sandwich — it can be on any kind of bread or roll and certainly doesn’t need to be pressed in a grill. That said, you are more than welcome to heat up your panino caprese as that’s tasty as well.

And if you want to whip up some focaccia seasoned with olive oil and oregano (even thyme, yum!) for this sandwich, you won’t be disappointed; indeed, the first time I had one of these, it was at Dean & Deluca in New York City. Love at first bite doesn’t begin to describe it.

Buon appetito!

22 Beans of Wisdom to “Panino Caprese: Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Sandwich”
  1. Beth

    Wow, this puts yesterday’s pb&j to shame! πŸ˜‰ Looks YUM!

    Hahaha; I love PB&J too though!

  2. 07.28.2010

    Hi! I was just wondering if I should post about pasta alla checca…but you are right, caprese in any form is just too sublime not to pass it on, right?

    I would agree with that, yes πŸ™‚

  3. 07.28.2010

    Delicious but trying not to eat too much bread at the moment ..:-)

    Everything in moderation πŸ™‚

  4. 07.28.2010

    Nom! Nom! Nom!….delish! xo

    Mangia Pamuccia!

  5. 07.28.2010

    Oh my, my favorite! I miss those real Italian tomatoes!

    They are lovely, aren’t they? πŸ™‚

  6. Debra Syfert

    Ciao Bella Michelle,
    Oh, be still my heart! I am flying to Reno to see my family and going to surprise them with this fabio-lous panino~I know they will love it as I will!


    PS Going to use Sourdough bread for this one!

    Love & Friendship,

    Sounds good to me πŸ™‚

  7. 07.28.2010

    Simply delicious! …although I just have to say that “panino just means a sandwich” is simplifying things linguistically…how would you explain “un toast”, “un tramezzino”, “un sandwich”? just being the devil’s advocate! πŸ˜‰

    Well those are all sandwiches too; “sandwich” is general and inclusive πŸ™‚

  8. 07.28.2010

    I’m in love just looking at these pictures.

    Mangia mangia!

  9. The first time I had one of these was in Sorrento. I was roadtripping with my brother and Norwegian cousin. We had done Pompeii the day before and were doing a long haul to Vienna so I bought some sandwiches for the trip. I’ve always loved Caprese salads, and don’t know why it never occurred to me to make a sandwich. I also bought simple ham and tomato sandwiches as well. They were sooooo good. I use whole basil leaves since I love basil so much. I recently put them on the grill during a Memorial Day picnic. No matter what, whenever I eat a Caprese sandwich, it transports me back to that summer in Italy, the warm sundrenched taste of that sandwich and all the lovely memories I had because of that trip.

    Such lovely memories indeed πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  10. 07.28.2010

    Wow, simple and delicious, gotta love that!

    Agreed Jenna! Thanks for coming by πŸ™‚

  11. 07.28.2010

    My mouth is watering. Thanks for the bday wishes.

    My pleasure πŸ˜€

  12. 07.29.2010

    Just beautiful and I’ll bet delicious. I love that we all are cooking seasonally and using the same ingredients no matter where we are located : )

    Very cool indeed, Michele πŸ™‚

  13. 07.29.2010

    My tomatoes are just starting to ripen, and this looks like a perfect way to use the first ones.


  14. Gil

    Those tomatoes look too good to be real! I think we get them looking like that for about a month over here.

    These were *so* good Gil; I’m not complaining!

  15. Just perfect! I have to find myself some good mozzarella…

    What a great mission to have πŸ™‚

  16. this is my go to sandwich – yum

    Mine too Judy…can’t beat it πŸ™‚

  17. 07.30.2010

    Not only do I love all these colors (which also happen to be the colors of the flag of Mexico) but also the ingredients. We have many tomatoes growing in Grandma’s garden and jalapenos..(yes I’m one happy girl!)

    I hear you, Elisa!

  18. 07.31.2010

    YUM! Makes me want a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.

    I love those too!

  19. Mmm. A variant that I loved when I lived in Catanzaro (which I no longer eat now that I’m vegetarian) was the panino al tonno. Same thing, except with some oil-packed tuna fish crumbled over the tomato. As I recall it was delicious.

    Oh. And? A “panini”-grilled panino caprese is a ruined panino caprese. Blech.

    Mmmmm tonno…love it!

  20. Gotta have good olive oil. On a lightly toasted bun, there’s nothing better!

    I agree on both accounts πŸ˜€

  21. Jane Pulice


    I found this site while searching for a recipe for pasta fazzoul. I may have spelled it wrong. But it has navy beans and a white sauce with elbow macaroni. My mother-in-law made but she passed away.



    Hi Jane! I think you’ll have more luck if you search for “pasta fagioli” (often said by Italian-Americans as pasta fazzul). There are recipes for this from all over Italy, and they vary greatly by region, so you might have to have a look around before you find something similar to what your mother-in-law made. My grandmother, for instance, made hers with a thick tomato sauce. Good luck!

  22. 03.13.2011

    With my family visiting this weekend, this was exactly what I was planning for lunch! Looks so amazing!!

    Enjoy Rosemary and family!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



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